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We have a peso mentality

Reading a blog post from somewhere else, husband commented that fifty dollars a piece for dinner seemed an astronomical amount of money. Fifty dollars is around $650 mxn. On Easter, Husband, La Maestra, her husband and I went to the Sonora’s Meat and  between us ate a  total of a kilo of steak (250 grams each of 3 different cuts two of us had prime rib), two servings of great guacamole, chistorra, frijoles charros and drinks for less than that, not including the tip. My point being that fifty dollars per person sounds like a lot of money to us now, regardless of whether the meal is worth it or not.

We’ve achieved a disconnect with NOB prices, I look at prices in the grocery store and compare them to what I’ve paid in the past or how much something costs in the mercado not to how much Safeway charges. One of my friends recently came back from a trip to Panama, she told me that Frosted Flakes were $8 usd a box there. My reaction was first “Thank goodness we don’t eat that crap  stuff” and my second was “Aren’t Zucaritas around forty pesos a box?”

I feel like a tourist who when offered a hammock for two hundred pesos turns to his companion and asks,”How much is that in real money?”. Except in reverse, I think in pesos, I compare prices in pesos and I live in a peso economy.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Kristen, Playacar is gorgeous. I’m sure it’s anyone’s idea was a beach paradise.
    I hope it works out for you. We want to travel too. Europe is someplace we want to visit. But we are staying here to live.

  2. We live in Playa del Carmen now. I see that you already checked my blog out. Thank for the stop by and your welcomed to come back. So far, we love Playa. It’s everything we wanted Panama to be and it wasn’t. Now we live in paradise as far as I’m concerned. The hubby says we’ll stay here for a couple of years and then he wants to try Europe. We’ll see 😉

  3. Kristen, if it was really Frosted Flakes not Zucaritas it is been an imported food, so I would not be surprised.It always shocks me when I see how much pillsbury refrigerated biscuits sell for here (ummm something like $50 which is what 5 times the NOB price?) Just like Spanish chorizo from Spain is more expensive than chorizo español (Spanish style chorizo).
    When I was a kid and we did our once a year trek to Casa Lucas in San Francisco we paid a lot of money for turrón, chorizo and yucca because it was all imported stuff, even if relatively cheap in Spain and Mexico.
    I heard that Skippy peanut butter goes for eight dollars a jar in Ecuador! and not the giant Costco jar either. The local fresh peanut butter was very inexpensive however.

    ps I take it you no longer live in Panamá? do you live in Mérida now?

  4. My husband and I lived in Panama for 10 months. The reason the frosted flakes were so much is because that is considered “gringo” food there. Anything that remotely resembles a gringo brand will automatically be tripled in price because they are just now starting to see a surge in expats and are taking it for everything they can.

  5. Madame Pliers, you have to flit between 3 currencies and 3 languages!That could get confusing fast. At least the euro doesn’t use the $ like the peso and dollar!

  6. ¡Amen to that, ma chère amie!

  7. Brenda, yup, I usually list prices on my blog in pesos because it just doesn’t make sense to convert the money. Especially, since we came here and it was 11.20 to the dollar and now is around 13! of course, we’ve seen it was low as 9 pesos to the USD.

    Debi, well said! We live in a peso economy. If you add in air fare,it’s usually cheaper to buy it here. However,if you are going anyway, there are some good deals on electronics NOB.


  8. me too! I can’t get my head around the US $ prices, although some stuff is cheaper there! I just don’t think in dollars, I mean really, why would we? We live in a peso world!

  9. I so understand where you are coming from. We get some USA channels on our cable TV and the other night we just laughed when a Mexican Restaurant ad from up north came on. The ad was for their daily “specials” and the prices were hilarious. Roy looked at me and we just laughed.
    Yes, $50.00 a meal for 1 person sounds decadent now to us also, we are used to 50 pesos a meal lol. Our last “fancy” meal out lol was when we ordered Chateaubriand for two and had a drink each and the bill with tip was maybe 300 pesos and we felt like big spenders lol lol.
    I, too compare prices from one store to the other here, and my head works in pesos.
    When I read something online in CAD and want to know how much it is I go to the Bank of Canada site to convert it. Usually after I do that I end up looking at Roy and saying, Holy c___, they want XXX pesos for that there, and we shake our heads.
    Funny how our heads switch gears without us even noticing, it is much easier this way though, not constantly trying to convert prices in my head when shopping.

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